(Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Yvonne Webb, 19.Apr.2019) — Deputy political leader of the United National Congress, Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee, has said the Dragon gas deal between TT and Venezuela is dead and not just at a “standstill,” as claimed by Energy Minister Franklin Khan.
Lee said it is now time for Government to end the charade and admit to the people of this country that the deal it boasted about was nothing more than political public relations.
He said Khan’s public admission that the Dragon deal has come to a “standstill” is a true vindication of what the Opposition has said from day one, “that this deal was not only a political sham but one which could not withstand political upheavals or public scrutiny.”
In response to questions by Opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on Tuesday, Khan said negotiations for the Dragon gas deal among the National Gas Company, Shell and Venezuela’s state company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVA) had come to a virtual standstill.
However, he expressed optimism that the deal would become a reality, “once the dust settles in Venezuela.”
Lee said, “Government must not deceive citizens into thinking that this is just a delay or a simple pause in negotiations. It is unacceptable that up to this day they are unable to confirm if the document needed to make this arrangement fully operational, a legally binding gas sales contract was ever signed.”
He said the Opposition had concerns about the sustainability and legality of this deal from the very beginning and raised questions in the nation’s interest, “as we knew that our energy sector’s security was vulnerable.”